tv State of the Union CNN September 5, 2010 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
for this sunday, september 5th. we've had a team of journalists in pakistan for a long time now. and given the humanitarian and security implications of what you've just witnessed this this past half hour, we can tell you cnn will be on the ground in pakistan for a long time to come. we will be back at 10:00 eastern time with all the latest breaking news. i'm tom foreman at the cnn center in atlanta. we hope you will join us then. right now stay tuned for the riveting documentary starting right now, "the atlanta child murders." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com for two years, the bodies of black children had been found in the woods, then the rivers of atlanta, georgia. in all, more than two dozen victims, most of them strangled.
by may, 1981, the police and fbi were hiding in the brush beside and below the river bridges. this was to be the last night, almost the last hour. >> i heard the splash. >> bob campbell, a police recruit, jumped to his feet down beside the chattahoochee river. chat >> i was really startled. it sounded like a body entering the water. >> he looked up at the bridge. >> and i saw brake lights of a car coming. i saw red lights. the car started slowly moving away from me across the bridge. >> campbell radioed the other team members up above him. >> i asked, did a car stop on the bridge? because i couldn't believe what i saw. and each person told me they didn't see it. >> then a policeman in a chase car hidden on the other side came on the radio. >> he just said, the car is pulling in the parking lot here turning around in front of me and started coming back across
the bridge coming back in my direction. >> this is that white stationwagon. police followed it and stopped it nearby. fbi agent mike mccomas rushed to the scene. the driver was standing by the highway. >> he was talking with the officers. saw a black male. he had on a baseball hat. had on glasses. >> the young man was wayne williams, about to turn 23. a self-anointed music talent scout who slept days and roamed the city at night. mccomas invited williams over to his car. >> he got in the car and i said, do you know why you're here? and he immediately said, yes, it's about the missing children. that kind of stunned me. and i said, what do you know about that? he said, i don't think that the various news agencies are covering it adequately, do you? >> two weeks later, this headline would break the news of that night on the bridge. wayne williams would be sent to
prison to serve two life sentences for murder. at first glance, he hardly looks like a serial killer. not much more than 5 1/2 feet tall, now in his 50s. and growing bald. >> the bottom line is nobody ever testified or even claimed that they saw me strike another person, choke another person, stab, beat or kill or hurt anybody. because i didn't. >> this is the first time wayne williams has talked on tv in at least a decade. why do you think you were convicted? >> fear. >> what do you mean? >> atlanta at the time was in a panic. they wanted any suspect that they could find. and let's just be honest. it had to be a black person because if it had been a white suspect, atlanta probably would have gone up in flames. it came very close to that. >> do you think you'll ever be free?
>> no doubt. it's not a matter of if to me. it's a matter of when. >> some 30 years after wayne williams' trial and conviction, there is still debate and some doubt. this time, you can be the judge and the jury. we'll lay out the evidence on both sides and you'll hear from wayne williams at length. then, we'll invite you to reach your own verdict. guilty, innocent, or a third choice. not proven. the first clue was found on a dead boy's tennis shoes. the victim was eric middlebrooks. his body left here in a rainy alley. a foster child who rode his bicycle away one night on an errand and was dead by dawn. detective bob buffington saw something red stuck to eric's tennis shoe. >> and i noticed in the flap of the edge of this shoe this tuft of what to me appeared to be
wool. and that was it. we could find no other evidence. >> back at homicide, buffington showed the fibers to his superiors. >> the lieutenant made a big joke out of it and told the rest of the squad that if i went over to the lieutenant's house and cleaned out the lint trap in his d dryer, we could probably clear out all the cases in the city of atlanta. >> still, buffington sent the fibers to the state crime laboratory. a young forensic scientist, larry peterson, took a look. why was a fiber stuck in the crack of a shoe, why was that important? >> because it was somewhat loosely there. people don't normally have tufts of carpet fibers loosely stuck in their shoe. >> from those few thin threads, peterson would begin to build a case to try to catch a killer. how many fibers across the board
did you look at every day in this case, when the case really started getting busy? 100? 500? 1,000? >> literally there's going to be hundreds if not thousands of fibers there, depending upon the case. >> in the spring of 1980, no one wanted to believe a serial killer was loose in the city, even when bob buffington spotted a disturbing pattern. >> there had been a sharp increase in the number of children under the age of 14 who had been killed. >> when he told his boss at homicide, the major threatened to transfer him. >> and i truly think that they were afraid that there would be a panic. >> it was this mother, after the loss of her 9-year-old son, who finally forced police to listen, but not until almost a year after her boy died. camille bell and her children lived in these project
apartments. poor to the eye, but rich in mind and spirit. yusef bell was an honor student in the gifted program at school. on a warm october sunday in 1979 he walked away on an errand to buy snuff for an elderly lady downstairs. >> he went barefooted in a pair of brown shorts. he got to the store. he bought the snuff. he started back home. >> less than half a block from this store, yusef bell stepped off this curb and vanished. >> and nobody saw anybody do anything or anything. but they did see him come back across the street. and that's the last that we saw him. >> camille bell called the police. they came and said they'd write a report. that's all. days went by. camille waited with two older
children and yusef's 3-year-old sister. >> and so she is terrified. if he can go to the store and they can steal him, then she doesn't want to leave the house. she doesn't want to do anything. >> camille hid her own fear from her children. >> and you've got to hold them together so you can't act as scared as you are. >> the body of yusef bell was found in an abandoned schoolhouse. >> his body would not turn up for another month. yusef bell had been strangled. >> all of the what could have been, should have been and probably would have been was taken away, and we'll never know now, because somebody decided that it was all right to just kill a little kid because they wanted to. >> for a long time, the 3-year-old would look for yusef every time it was a foggy day.
>> and we'd go out into the fog and she would go as far as she could into the fog. and i'd say, come back here. and she'd say, i got to go find my brother. and she said, the clouds came down, so yusef can come down. >> the child, her mother said, had confused the fog with heaven. still ahead -- the boy who was too brave. >> i mean, he was like, man, i want to find this killer and get this reward money. >> a drive-by threat against the fbi chief's child. >> some guy in a pickup truck said, i'm going to get you, nigger. >> and in the end, the curious question of the cia. >> you're 19 years old. you're saying you work for the cia. you've been recruited. >> i'll let the document speak
for itself. i'm not going to comment on that. >> then -- >> do you know how to kill someone with a choke hold? that's a yes or no answer. >> no, it's not. >> yes, it is, actually. do you know how to kill someone with a choke hold? >> no, it's not. ... you know.. ahis. mean, 's not about me. ould be about how geico's the e bossoh, of cours we're notngsikh gonna get carried away. : geico. fifteen minutes cou save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. ondon'ov 100% natural nuts and granola in bite sized clusters. it's a little bit of nature... a little bit better. and nature approves. granola nut clusters from nature valley.
time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. we get double miles on every purchase. echo! so we earned a trip to the grand canyon twice as fast. uh-oh. we get double miles every time we use our card. i'll take these. no matter what we're buying. plus the damages. and since double miles add up quick, we can bring the whole gang. it's hard to beat double miles. no, we ride them! [ male announcer ] introducing the venture card from capital one, with double miles on every purchase every day. go to capitalone.com. what's in your wallet? oh, that's the spot!
>> among them, jefferey mathis, only 10. like yusef bell, he walked down the street on an errand to this gas station to buy cigarettes for his mother. she never saw him again. >> what we had here was a predator. and what he was looking for was somebody who was cut off from the herd. and if you don't realize you're in trouble until you're in trouble, then you have no way of getting out. >> it would be another year before jefferey mathis's body was found in the woods, miles from his home. his mother would join camille bell in forming a committee to confront the city's leaders. >> the reaction of the police was that we were overreacting and that there was no serial killer. >> even though by now six black
children were dead. four others were missing. >> perhaps we were like distraught parents that really needed everyone's sympathy, but nobody needed to do anything. >> for years, it has been a dirty little secret among the press and the police. deaths of blacks draw less attention than deaths of whites. >> nobody cared. so you could have several killings go on and if the people were poor, then no one discovered there was a serial killing. if you were black and poor, then really nobody looked. especially the black and poor and southern. >> police were slow to recognize these deaths were different. many of the bodies were left in the woods, far from home, unlike most murder victims who are found where they fall. >> unsolved murders of children is very rare.
if a 9-year-old got killed, it was because somebody slapped him across the room, he hit his head and he died. >> police did not create a task force until a year after the first murders began. fbi profiler roy hazelwood came down to help. three detectives drove him around the city and turned into jefferey mathis's neighborhood. >> as soon as we turned on to that street, everything stopped. a guy cutting the grass stopped. guys playing dominos on the porch stopped. i said, what's going on? i said, everything stopped. they said, laughing, that's because we have a honky in the car. >> john glover, who took over as fbi chief in atlanta that summer, said that's why he and hazelwood decided the killer had to be black. >> the killer is someone who is invisible in the black community and who is invisible in the black community but another black person?
>> malcolm harris was one of the first task force detectives. he knew it had to be someone who went unnoticed. >> we felt like it was somebody who could come in the neighborhood and get these children and not draw attention to themselves. >> the question of which race struck a raw nerve. it had been only a dozen years since the murder of dr. martin luther king. on the surface, atlanta was a well-integrated city. beneath the surface, it remained separate and unequal. >> my prayer and the prayers of everybody in there was we wanted the person to be black. and the reason why you wanted him to be black, i knew what it would do to this town if it had have been a white person or somebody of another race. >> in the black community, in the early '80s, a black serial killer was unheard of. all the classic serial killers
were white. never black. >> it didn't mean we didn't have one now. >> today black serial killers are not rare. in 2009, here in cleveland, as well as in milwaukee and los angeles, each time the accused serial killer turned out to be african-american. dr. eric hickey is a psychologist who keeps track of serial killers. >> overall in my study, one out of every five serial killers is african-american. in the past since 1995, over 40% are african-american. we're finally saying, you know what, blacks do this, too. >> there were whites who fed the fear in atlanta. as fbi chief, john glover had moved into this upper class white neighborhood. his 12-year-old son was playing outside one afternoon.
>> some guy in a pickup truck, he was out in the yard, in our side yard. we were on a corner. we lived in -- we had a corner lot, you know. said, i'm going to get you, nigger, as he was driving by. >> kasim reed, seen in these childhood photos, was only 10 when the first two bodies were found in the woods close to his home in the summer of 1979. >> my life did change. >> how so? >> not out as late as you used to be. not able to ride your bike unaccompanied. >> in 2010, reed would become the mayor of atlanta. but back then, as the youngest boy in his family, his teenage brothers were his protectors. >> and i didn't move without my brothers for about a year. >> the bulk of the victims were boys like you? >> you're right. >> your age. >> you're right. >> black boys. >> yes. >> did you personally feel afraid? >> i can't honestly say that i
really felt afraid except for at moments. you would have a van slow down and everybody was very mindful of vans at the time. >> people were suspicious of everybody. and they were afraid. and you had children walking the street, car go by, you could see some of them were in fear. >> and for good reason. the murders were about to increase to a body almost every week. ♪ in the time of trouble, in the time of trouble ♪ coming up, a creature of the night. >> being an ex-news reporter and all, you know, nighttime is me. that's the time i'm out most of the time. >> and the mystery within a mystery. >> he walked into the back of the studio and he had horrible scratches on his arms.
and he said he had fallen into a bush. when the stage is set. and the cast has been gathered. when the curtain rises. and the spotlight is yours. having a strong signal at your back... is like having invisible power everywhere. because in that moment... you're not there to take up space. you're there to fill the room. rule the air. verizon. right now, buy a blackberry smartphone and get a second one free. like the bold. only at verizon. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2010 is 250 for $349 a month for 36 months with $3,489 due at signing. see your lexus dealer. thanks. i got the idea from general mills big g cereals. they put a white check on the top of every box to let people know that their cereals
have healthy whole grain, and they're the right choice... (announcer) general mills makes getting whole grain an easy choice. just look for the white check. these are the final weeks of our summer sales event. i'm angie everhart, and i lost 34 pounds on nutrisystem. if you've been thinking of starting nutrisystem, there won't be a better time this year. this is your last chance to get our gourmet select line at our lowest price for the rest of the year. i'm marie osmond, and i lost 50 pounds on nutrisystem. i lost over 100 pounds and lowered my blood sugar on nutrisystem d. our summer sales event has a program on sale just for you, but you must act now. that's me 22 pounds ago, and i'm never going back there again. enjoy four perfectly portioned meals a day, including fresh-frozen options. people say i look 10 years younger. i feel 10 years younger. you will not see a lower price for the rest of the year. lose weight and save money, but you must act now. these are the final weeks. hurry, now's the time and this event won't last.
so many of the children who died were poor, who earned spending money carrying groceries, running errands for others, or, like lubie geter, peddling car deodorizers outside this supermarket on new year's weekened, 1981. his mother worried about his going off alone. >> he said he was a big boy. they had to catch him first. >> lubie was a good student, a sophomore in high school. a witness at the shopping center that day saw lubie with a man and helped a police artist draw this sketch, a man with a baseball cap, perhaps a scar on his cheek. lubie never came home. >> i believe he been kidnapped. >> police searched the woods around atlanta. they did not find lubie. instead, police found two other
bodies, young boys who had disappeared ten miles and a month apart, yet both left here at the same dumping ground. the number of known dead, now 15. the unsolved murders of so many children had become front page news around the nation and the world. >> this is the reward. >> the city announced a $100,000 reward, soon to grow to $500,000. the task force was swamped with sketches of suspects, none of them alike, many suggested by psychics. at the state crime lab, larry peterson was sifting through thousands of fibers. nylon, rayon, acrylic, acetate. >> is it like looking for a needle in a haystack? or smaller? >> like looking for multiple needles in multiple haystacks.
>> then in january 1981, a breakthrough. peterson realized they were seeing one green carpet fiber with a unique shape. this is a cross-section of the fiber magnified many times. >> this particular fiber had two very, very large lobes and one short lobe. >> the lobes are the three ends of the boomerang shape. >> the shape was the most distinctive feature of the fiber. >> he showed me a slide taken from another carpet. >> this is a single tuft from the carpet. cut in cross-section. >> yeah, i can't tell that's green. even putting the tiny fibers under the microscope didn't help me. how can you tell what color this is? because in this, this green carpet, because of that light green, looks very whitish. >> the color seen microskopically is not going to be identical to what overall carpet would be. >> instead, an even more sophisticated microscope. >> so let me just open this up --
>> can separate colors to identify a specific fiber. we took another look. oh, now you're talking. now peterson knew what to look for. >> when i was looking at the fiber at first i had no idea who had made it. i just knew it was very distinctive and i would recognize it instantly. >> but he didn't know where to find it. wayne williams was not yet on anyone's radar. he had freelanced as a tv cameraman who shot fires in overnight news. he told us -- >> i know the streets of atlanta. i've been around a while. being an ex-news reporter and all, you know, nighttime is me. that's the time i'm out most of the time. >> now almost 23, a wannabe music producer, he was trying to form a singing group modeled after the jackson 5. in fact, the afternoon lubie geter disappeared, williams says this receipt shows he had an alibi, auditioning young singers from 4:30 to 8:30 that evening.
>> the studio was a small demo studio. >> kathy andrews was co-owner of that studio. >> to my best recollection, he auditioned young kids for a group that never existed. they were roughly as young as 8 and as old -- for the kids, they were as old as 11 or 12. >> now living in another state, kathy andrews did not want her face shown because of what she saw on another day at her studio. >> at one point in time when wayne came for one of the sessions, he walked into the back of the studio, and he had horrible scratches on his arms. >> deep and painful crisscrossing both arms. >> it was more this way and that way and that way and that way and that way and that way. and they were angry looking. and when i looked at him, the first words out of my mouth was, oh, wayne, what happened? that looks awful.
and he said he had fallen into a bush. >> 15-year-old terry pue died late that january. his body dropped by the roadside in a rural county 20 miles from home. he had been strangled. his mother -- >> whoever killed him, he had to tussle with him because he had scratches all over him. >> it gives me chills down my spine still. >> to this day, kathy andrews does not believe wayne's explanation. >> he did not fall in a bush. it was -- after you realized it, it was fairly obvious. i mean, and i don't know what else could have caused that kind of wound on his arm. >> the intervals between murders were shrinking. 19 days from lubie geter's disappearance until terry pue's death, then 15 days until the next victim. soon 13, then 11, and before long, a body a week.
fbi profiler roy hazelwood says this is not unusual for serial killers. >> they come to believe that they, in fact, are almost immune to mistakes, if you will. and they can take greater risks because it's more exciting and because they're so superior they don't have to worry about the inferior police catching them. >> after a month, lubie geter's body would be found in the woods. the boy left naked except for scraps of underwear. the medical examiner would testify geter apparently had been killed by, quote, a choke hold around the neck, a forearm across the neck. it's a question we'll have reason to ask wayne williams by the end of all of this. it's actually a very simple question. can you kill someone with a choke hold? >> you probably could. you probably could under the right circumstances.
>> i know for a fact i could not. when we return, the boy who wanted to catch a killer. >> the body was indeed another victim of atlanta's child killer or killers. >> i just knowed right away it was his body. oh, my god, momma. >> and later, a failed lie detector test. >> it surprised him that he didn't beat that polygraph test. he was convinced he could beat a polygraph test. i want a home run.
he wants an out! only one of us will win. so i do everything i can... to make sure it's me! [ male announcer ] winning takes intense preparation. start with wheaties fuel! a bold honey-cinnamon crunch cereal with complex carbs, and b vitamins. [ pujols ] wheaties fuel, prepare to win! over a thousand people a day are switching to chevy. they like that vehicles like the 2010 malibu, traverse and silverado half-ton have each been named a consumers digest best buy. they like that chevy backs the quality with a one-hundred-thousand mile powertrain warranty. they're not just trading in, they're trading up. qualified lessees now get a low mileage lease on this malibu ls for around one ninety-nine a month. call for details.
there's yet another twist in the missing and murdered children case. >> atlanta is a city of frustrations and fears. >> as the number of missing a i murdered grow -- >> the body was indeed another victim of atlanta's child killer or killers. >> patrick baltazar was the kid convinced he could catch a killer. >> he was like i want to find this killer and get the reward money and i'm going to buy my mom a house and i'm going to do this and i'm going to find this killer. >> his stepmother, sheila baltazar, was worried. >> for a 10, 11-year-old child to be talking like that, that was just like, wow, where is his mind at? >> patrick was a latch-key child living unsupervised with an older brother in a project apartment near downtown.
>> he was very streetwise. >> he stayed out late at night, often at the omni center, now the headquarters of cnn, but back then a hotel complex with an indoor skating rink and a game room for kids. >> that's where he spent a lot of his time at, at the games arcade. >> wayne williams was known to frequent the omni, passing out these fliers as a talent scout to offer auditions to boys from age 11 on up. >> 15 kids are dead. two others are officially missing -- >> by early february, 1981, more than a dozen young african-american boys had been found dead, many dumped in the woods around atlanta. >> i was very fearful. my god. >> sheila baltazar pleaded to send patrick back home to the rest of his family in rural louisiana. >> if i had somewhere to send my son, i would have sent my son. >> one evening, a white man in a
big car appeared to threaten patrick and a small friend. >> the little boy said that patrick said, man, that might be the killer. >> patrick used a pay phone to call police. he told them, a man was chasing me and my friend in a brown cadillac. >> well, actually, they thought it was a crank phone call. they didn't send a car out. >> this is a sketch the other boy provided to police after patrick was dead. two weeks later, on february 6, patrick stopped by the restaurant where his father worked to ask for money, then walked back toward the omni. he never made it home that night. >> i'm like, he didn't come home? oh, my god! that was the first thing popped in my head. missing. murdered. oh, my god! >> the atlanta missing persons
bureau continue their hunt for this missing child. >> one day seemed like it was a week. that was the longest search in the world. >> it was almost 2:00 p.m. when maintenance man ishmael strickland found the lifeless figure of a young black boy lying in some bushes. >> on the seventh day a maintenance man spotted a body tossed down into the woods behind a parking lot at a suburban office complex. >> the bank was fairly steep. >> medical examiner joseph burton had to hold on to a rope to get down to the scene. >> he had a ligature mark on his neck like if somebody had a ligature and they were behind you or off to the side behind you and they closed their hands or fists together and pulled the ligature, basically. >> in other words, killed from behind. >> most likely, yes. >> all right. let me place another sample on this side. >> state crime lab scientist larry peterson attended the autopsy. >> i can recall at one autopsy pulling a fiber off of one of
the victims. it was a green carpet fiber and mounted the sample on the slide and went over and looked under the microscope and said, it's the same one. >> you knew right away. >> i knew right then. >> apparent it's another victim of atlanta's child killer or killers. >> local television carried these pictures live from the crime scene. >> as it was studied it was apparent it was one of the three children listed as missing. >> sheila baltazar got a call from her mother. >> she say, they found another body. she say, i really feel like this is patrick's body here, you know. oh, my god. >> but if he is one of the three missing children, the chances are strong that he was 11-year-old patrick baltazar --
>> mrs. baltazar and her husband went to the funeral home to identify their child. >> they told me he had struggled, you know, for his life. and seeing the print -- the rope print across his neck. all the way around the front. ♪ >> at patrick baltazar's funeral, she would insist on an open casket. >> i just wanted the world to see that this child could have been anybody's child. >> patrick's fifth grade classmates wrote a poem read at his funeral. this from local tv coverage that day. >> patrick baltazar, our school
mate, you came to school though sometimes late, but you were never mean to anyone. you tried to help people and thought it was fun. then one night, one terrible night, you didn't come home, not even at daylight. something's happened to that boy, the people said, patrick is missing. is patrick dead? we cried some and we bowed our heads. >> and hoped for your safety and prayers were said. oh, god, please bring back that missing boy. when he returns, we will shout for joy. the police and the news people came and went. in all our hearts was no content. no one could rest until we knew whatever, whatever had happened to you. then one day your body was found
out in the woods on the cold, cold ground. someone killed you and dumped you there. it was a mad, cruel person who did not care. there was not a word about how you died. it is no wonder that we all cried. patrick, we miss you and wish you knew how much your schoolmates grieve for you. just ahead -- the klan under suspicion. >> it was an entire family of brothers that were involved in the klan. >> and then a disappearing nylon cord. >> could have been the murder weapon, as far as i knew. so why are over a thousand people a day switching to chevrolet? room for eight and all sorts of space behind the third row.
they just thought of everything. it just feels like a really solid car. that should come in handy. it's the chevrolet summer event and anyone can get the traverse they want. nah-uh... this one's mine. get 0% apr for 60 months on the 2010 traverse with an average finance savings of around fifty seven hundred. the switch begins at chevydealer.com. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. we know. i don't think you do. [meow] desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
are possible side effects of nexium. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. ask your doctor if nexium can help relieve your heartburn symptoms. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. my joints ache so bad, i wake up in pain every day. i want to know why. i want to know why my hair is falling out. how did this happen? how did this happen? a little pain in my knee. that's how it started. that's how it started, this rash on my face. now it's like my body is attacking me. i want answers. announcer: when you don't have the right answers, it may be time to ask your doctor the right question. could i have lupus? these are the final weeks of our summer sales event. i'm angie everhart, and i lost 34 pounds on nutrisystem. if you've been thinking of starting nutrisystem, there won't be a better time this year. this is your last chance to get our gourmet select line at our lowest price for the rest of the year. i'm marie osmond, and i lost 50 pounds on nutrisystem.
i lost over 100 pounds and lowered my blood sugar on nutrisystem d. our summer sales event has a program on sale just for you, but you must act now. that's me 22 pounds ago, and i'm never going back there again. enjoy four perfectly portioned meals a day, including fresh-frozen options. people say i look 10 years younger. i feel 10 years younger. you will not see a lower price for the rest of the year. lose weight and save money, but you must act now. these are the final weeks. hurry, now's the time and this event won't last. call... before this limited-time offer ends.
in february 1981, a troublesome tip reached the police. a man involved in the ku klux klan could be atlanta's serial killer. >> atlanta was about to explode, and here was information potentially that the klan could have been doing this. >> bob ingram with the gbi, georgia's bureau of investigation, got the case. >> it was an entire family of
brothers that were involved in the klan that were the focus of this particular intelligence information. >> an informant said one brother had threatened lubie geter, the child found dead only weeks before. the klan associate lived here on a dead-end street in the railroad town of mountainview on the outskirts of atlanta. >> we're tapping telephones. we heard a lot of rhetoric. we heard a lot of racial slurs. >> on one wiretap, the detectives heard this said. go find you another little kid? the gbi followed the four brothers for almost two months. >> these family members were under surveillance at that time, physical surveillance where we had an eyeball on them. >> in those two months, six more black youths would disappear and die. detectives saw nothing to link the klan to them. >> if somebody was in there with
a van or two or three men who -- to grab somebody and dump them in the back of the van, people would have noticed if they were white. >> the brothers were called in. they took lie detector tests and passed. >> they were polygraphed and cleared as to their involvement in the killing of atlanta's children. >> clearing the klan didn't stop the murders. jo-jo bell was one of the victims who vanished during the surveillance. he used to hang out at this seafood carry-out place. manager richard harp. >> you come here and do anything. i'd give him a dollar just long enough to get money to go to a show or get money to -- you know, to buy stuff at the store or something like that. >> jo-jo bell, unrelated to yusef bell, came by cap'n peg's one last time. >> around 3:30, 4:00 monday he came by and stuck his head in the door.
said, richard, i'm going to shoot basketballs, i'll see you later. throwed his hand up, went on up the street. >> to a school yard basketball court like this. this witness, lugene laster, knew jo-jo and said he saw him leave in a stationwagon that looked like this. lester testified he got in the car, got in wayne's car. in court laughter would identify wayne williams as the driver. >> lugene laster pretty much an eyewitness said that you gave a ride to jo-jo bell in your stationwagon. >> okay. >> did you? >> no, i did not. >> you never gave a ride to jo-jo-bell? >> no, i did not. >> williams did not deny he was the driver. he instead insisted his passenger had to be someone else. jo-jo bell was never to be seen again.
>> it would be horrendous if another child dies, period. >> a week later, sammy davis jr. and frank sinatra came to atlanta for a concert to benefit the children. the photographer up on stage, that's wayne's father, homer williams, with the black newspaper "atlanta world." >> how come you got no tuxedo on there on the stage looking like that there? >> backstage with sammy davis jr. in a photo which made the front page, that's future mayor kasim reed. >> i remember that. it was so cool meeting frank sinatra. >> as a young child, reed would help the volunteers searching atlanta's woods every saturday. >> we literally would walk through wooded areas chaperoned and we would walk for a period of time until about an hour before nightfall. >> but now a new twist in the
murders. patrick baltazar, the 20th victim, would be the last child to turn up in a wooded area. a day or two later an official would tell reporters fibers and dog hairs were being collected from the victim's clothing. the next child to die would be found in a river wearing nothing but underpants. fewer clues now for larry peterson. >> we're talking maybe a dozen or dozens of fibers as opposed to hundreds or potentially a thousand fibers. >> the 13-year-old victim was found beneath this bridge over the south river in atlanta's suburbs. a driver crossing that bridge earlier in the week saw a man leaning over the railing. it turned out to be the same afternoon jo-jo bell disappeared. at trial, the witness said the man was wayne williams. jo-jo's body would not be found
for seven more weeks, until easter sunday. it had floated far down the south river, almost into another county. >> he also had nothing on but underwear, basically. >> medical examiner joseph burton went out in a boat to retrieve the boy. >> we've got the body wrapped in a sheet. i'm the one with the shirt off. >> dr. burton ruled both jo-jo and the other boy found in the river had been asphyxiated. >> we didn't have any history of either one of these boys swimming in the south river in their underwear. >> other bodies were now washing up in the chattahoochee river to the west and the north of atlanta. five victims in that river in the next six weeks. >> i said, you know, if i was doing that, i'd be throwing them off the bridge. >> fbi agent mike mccomas grew up along a river in tennessee. he knew if something were to float on downstream, it had to be dropped in the middle of a river. mccomas suggested the bridge stakeouts.
>> we looked at remote places, dark places. we believed it would be at nighttime as opposed to daytime. >> the fbi and police began night watches at 14 bridges over the chattahoochee and south rivers. the stakeouts were to last four weeks. nothing until the very end. >> we at that point were ready for that to be our last night. and wayne williams showed up. that night. >> just before 3:00 a.m., the stationwagon drove on to the bridge. >> had he waited a couple more hours we might not have been there. >> otherwise, we would have missed him. next, the night on the bridge. >> you said, i know this is about those boys, isn't it? >> correct.
mm-hmm. that's what i said. >> pretty damning statement, don't you think? [ female announcer ] you use the healing power of touch every day. ♪ now the healing power of touch just got more powerful. introducing precise from the makers of tylenol. precise pain relieving heat patch activates sensory receptors. it helps block pain signals for deep penetrating relief you can feel precisely where you need it most. precise. only from the makers of tylenol. the lexus golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2010 is 250 for $349 a month for 36 months with $3,489 due at signing. see your lexus dealer. thanks. i got the idea from general mills big g cereals. they put a white check on the top of every box
would have erupted as well as several major cities. you possibly would have had another race war. >> no, said the fbi chief. >> on the atlanta police department's side, they were looking for a white guy. so why all of a sudden would a black guy be considered a scapegoat? >> williams disputes almost everything police witnesses said about that night. what happened that night on the bridge? >> okay. in the first place -- and i'm not being facetious -- but nothing happened on the bridge. that's the whole misconception. >> as he tells it, there was no splash. he never stopped and didn't turn around. so you never stopped on the bridge? >> no, i didn't. >> you didn't throw trash? >> no. >> you didn't throw anything? >> no, i did not. >> you didn't throw a body? >> definitely not a body, no. >> his story. >> i crossed the bridge. i turned off briefly after i crossed the bridge at what i call a liquor store.